1 Timothy 3:12
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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(12) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife.—Here the exact same qualification is to be sought for as in the higher grade of presbyter. The same orderly and decorous household is required now in the case of the deacon, as was to be looked for as qualification for the presiding elder. St. Paul knew well that in the wise yet tender father, Timothy would find the firm yet generous distributor of the Church’s alms, the loving and devoted friend of the poor sick.

1 Timothy 3:12-13. Let the deacons — As well as the bishops; be husbands of one wife — That is, such as have shown their temperance by avoiding polygamy and causeless divorce; (see on 1 Timothy 3:2;) ruling their children, &c. — This qualification, which was required in bishops likewise, shows how anxious the apostle was that all who bore sacred offices should be unblameable in every respect; knowing that the disorderly behaviour of the members of their family might give occasion to suspect that they had been careless of their morals. For they that have used — Have discharged; the office of a deacon well, (see Romans 12:7-8,) purchase to themselves a good degree — Greek, βαθμον, step, namely, toward some higher office; and great boldness — From the testimony of a good conscience; in the faith which is in Christ Jesus — Namely, in professing and teaching it, for even the wicked must respect persons who show so much benevolence and activity in relieving the poor, the afflicted, and the persecuted.

3:8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife - notes, 1 Timothy 3:2.

Ruling their children and their own houses well - notes, 1 Timothy 3:4-5.

12. husbands of one wife—(See on [2470]1Ti 3:2).

ruling their children—There is no article in the Greek, "ruling children"; implying that he regarded the having children to rule as a qualification (1Ti 3:4; Tit 1:6).

their own houses—as distinguished from "the Church of God" (see on [2471]1Ti 3:5). In the case of the deacons, as in that of the bishops, he mentions the first condition of receiving office, rather than the special qualifications for its discharge. The practical side of Christianity is the one most dwelt on in the Pastoral Epistles, in opposition to the heretical teachers; moreover, as the miraculous gifts began to be withdrawn, the safest criterion of efficiency would be the previous moral character of the candidate, the disposition and talent for the office being presupposed. So in Ac 6:3, a similar criterion was applied, "Look ye out among you seven men of honest report." Less stress is laid on personal dignity in the case of the deacon than in that of the bishop (compare Notes, see on [2472]1Ti 3:2,3).

See the sense of these words, 1 Timothy 3:2,4, being the qualifications also of a bishop.

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife,.... See Gill on 1 Timothy 3:2.

ruling their children and their own houses well. These qualifications are the same with those of the bishop or elder; See Gill on 1 Timothy 3:4.

{5} Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

(5) They that have than one wife, at one time, must neither by called to be ministers, nor to be deacons.

1 Timothy 3:12. The apostle returns to the deacons, and gives regarding their domestic life the same instructions as he gave in 1 Timothy 3:2-4 in regard to the bishops.

1 Timothy 3:12. As the episcopi were naturally drawn from the ranks of the deacons, the diaconate was a probation time, in the course of which the personal moral qualifications for the ἐπισκοπή might be acquired. See notes on 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:4.

12. ruling their children] The sentence gives compendiously the same requirements as to domestic relationships for deacons as for presbyters; the briefer form of the latter clause favours the interpreting ‘all gravity’ above of the children rather than the father.

Verse 12. - Deacons for the deacons, A.V.; husbands for the husbands, A.V. Husbands of one wife (see above, ver. 2, note). Ruling, etc. (προιδτάμενοι); literally, being at the head of, presiding over (see ver. 4, note). In Romans 12:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:12 it is applied to the spiritual ruler, the ἐπίσκοπος or πρεσβυτερος of the Church. Elsewhere only in the pastoral Epistles (above, vers. 4 and 5; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 3:8, 14). Their own houses (above, ver. 5). "Their own" is in contrast to" God's house." 1 Timothy 3:12
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